« AnteriorContinua »
The title the Marquess gives the original work is, "A Century of the Names and Scantlings of such Inventions, as at present I can call to mind to have tried and perfected, which (my former notes being lost) I have, at the instance of a powerful friend, endeavoured now, in the year 1655, to set these down in such a way, as may sufficiently instruct me to put any of them in practice."
" Artis et naturæ proles.”
He dedicates it to the King in language of unabated loyalty; and in a second address impressively recommends his discoveries to the attention of both Houses of Parliament. In the sixth of these “Inventions," Mr. Partington recognises an improved construction of the telegraph, as it was used before the electric telegraph came into use.
In VIII. IX. and X. various engines of war are hinted, which have since been perfected by Congreve and others. The reader who is curious in such subjects, will be well repaid by a perusal of Mr. Partington's book. We can only find room for those inventions which foreshadow the steam-engine.
• XC. An engine so contrived that, working the primum mobile forward or backward, upward or downward, circularly or cornerwise, to and fro, straight, upright or downright, yet the pretended operation continueth and advanceth; none of the motions above-mentioned hindering, much less stopping the other; but unanimously and with harmony agreeing, they all augment and contribute strength unto the intended work and operation; and, therefore, I call this a semi-omnipotent engine, and do intend that a model thereof be buried with me.
“ XCIX. How to make one pound weight raise an hundred as high as one pound falleth; and yet the hundred pounds weight descending doth what nothing less than one hundred pounds can effect.
“LXVIII. An admirable and most forcible way to drive up water by fire, not by drawing and sucking it upwards, for that must be, as the philosopher calleth it, infra spheram activitatis, which is had at such a distance; but this way hath no bounder, if the vessels be strong enough; for I have taken a piece of a whole cannon, whereof the end was burst, and filled it three quarters full, stopping and screwing up the broken end, as also the touchhole; and making a constant fire under it, within twenty-fours it burst, and made a great crack. So that having found a way to make my vessels, so that they are strengthened by the force within them, the one to fill after the other, have seen the water run like a constant fountain stream forty feet high; one vessel of water, rarefied by fire, driveth up forty of cold water; and a man that tends the work is but to turn two cocks, that one vessel of water being consumed, another begins to force and refill with cold water, and so successively, the fire being tended and
CENTURY OF INVENTIONS_STEAM-ENGINE.
kept constant, which the selfsame person may likewise abundantly perform in the interim between the necessity of turning the said cocks.
“C. Upon so potent a help as these two last-mentioned inventions, a waterwork is, by many years' experience and labour, so advantageously by me contrived, that a child's force bringeth up, an hundred feet high, an incredible quantity of water, even two feet diameter. And I may boldly call it the most stupendous work in the whole world! Not only, with little charge, to drain all sorts of mines, and furnish cities with water, though never so high seated, as well to keep them sweet, running through several streets, and so performing the work of scavengers, as well as furnishing the inhabitants with sufficient water for their private occasions ; but likewise supplying the rivers with sufficient to maintain and make navigable from town to town, and for the bettering of lands all the way it runs; with many more advantageous and yet greater effects of profit, admiration, and consequence. So that, deservedly, I deem this invention to crown my labours, to reward my expenses, and make my thoughts acquiesce in the way of farther inventions. This making up the whole century, and preventing any farther trouble to the reader for the present, meaning to leave to posterity a book, wherein, under each of these heads, the means to put in execution and visible trial all and every of these inventions, with the shape and form of all things belonging to them, shall be printed by brass plates.” And he devoutly concludes :-“ In bonum publicum, et ad majorem Dei gloriam."
On these Mr. Partington has the following note :-" The three last inventions may justly be considered as the most important of the whole ‘Century;' and when united with the 68th article, they appear to suggest nearly all the data essential for the construction of a modern steam-engine. The noble author has furnished us with what he calls a definition of this engine; and although it is written in the same vague and empirical style which characterises a large portion of his 'Inventions, it may yet be considered as affording additional proofs of the above important fact.”
The Marquess's “Definition” is exceedingly rare, as the only copy known to be extant is preserved in the British Museum. It is printed on a single sheet, without date, and appears to have been written for the purpose of procuring subscriptions in aid of a water company, then about to be established:
“ A stupendous, or a water-commanding engine, boundless for height or quantity, requiring no external nor even additional help or force, to be set or continued in motion, but what intrinsically is afforded from its own operation, nor yet the twentieth part thereof. And the engine consisteth of the following particulars :
“A perfect counterpoise, for what quantity soever of water.
"A perfect countervail, for what height soever it is to be brought unto.
“A primum mobile, commanding both height and quantity, regulatorwise.
“A vicegerent, or countervail, supplying the place, and performing the full force of man, wind, beast, or mill.
“A helm, or stern, with bit and reins, wherewith any child may guide, order, and control the whole operation.
“ A particular magazine for water, according to the intended quantity or height of water.
“An aqueduct, capable of any intended quantity or height of water.
“A place for the original fountain, or river, to run into, and naturally, of its own accord, incorporate itself with the rising water, and at the very bottom of the aqueduct, though never so big or high.
“ By Divine Providence and heavenly inspiration, this is my stupendous water-commanding engine, boundless for height and quantity.
“Whosoever is master of weight, is master of force ; whosoever is master of water, is master of both; and, consequently, to him all forcible actions and achievements are easy."
“ It is said," continues our authority in another place, “that the Marquess, while confined in the Tower of London, was preparing some food in his apartment, (a singularly good result from a marquess having been obliged to be his own cook,) and the cover of the vessel having been closely fitted, was, by the expansion of the steam, suddenly forced off and driven up the chimney. This circumstance attracting his attention, led him to a train of thought, which terminated in the completion of his water-commanding engine.”
Thus, we think, posterity has something more to thank the noble owner of Raglan for, than deeds of arms, or the defence of castles. His great castle, however, was ere this time in ruins, and furnishing another instance of the folly with which the conquerors at that period destroyed the noble buildings which had belonged to their enemies the Royalists; as if it had not been enough, and more wise and provident, to have kept them in their own possession, and converted them to republican uses.
The Marquess survived the publication of his “Century” only about two years. He died in retirement, near London, on the 3d of April, 1667, and was buried in the vault of Raglan Church, on the 19th of the same montli, near his grandfather, Edward, Earl of Worcester.*
* On the coffin was this inscription, engraved on a Gower, nec non serenissimo nuper Domino Regi Carolo brass plate :-“ Depositum illustrissimi principis Ed. Primo, South Walliæ locum tenentis, qui obiit apud wardi, Marchionis et Comitis Wigorniæ, Comitis de Lond., tertio die Apriles, An. Dom. MDCLXVII." Glamorgan, Baronis Herbert de Raglan, Chepstow, et
THE FIRST DUKE OF BEAUFORT.
After the Restoration, as already noticed, a committee was appointed by the House of Lords,* to take the patent above quoted into serious consideration. The consequence was, that in a very few days thereafter it reported that the Marquess was willing, without further question, to deliver it up to his Majesty; and accordingly, on the third of September following, the said patent, "granted,” as it was alleged, “in prejudice to the Peers,” was formally surrendered to the Sovereign, as the only fountain of national honours.
Henry, only son of the second Marquess, succeeded him QUE
in all those high titles and appointments, by which the King endeavoured to make him amends for the vast sacrifices which his family had incurred by a long course of unflinching and untarnished loyalty. And to crown the whole, he was installed K.G., and finally advanced to the
highest rank of the peerage. Having been “eminently serviceable to the King”—as expressed in the patent—" since his most happy restoration to the throne of these realms; in consideration thereof, and of his most noble descent from King Edward the Third, by John de Beaufort, eldest son of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, by Catherine Swinford, his third wife," the Marquess of Worcester was created, in December, 1682, Duke of Beaufort, with remainder to the heirs male of his body.
At the funeral of Charles the Second, his Grace was one of the supporters to George, Prince of Denmark, chief mourner. By James the Second he was made Lord President of Wales, and Lord Lieutenant of twelve different counties in the Principality; and at the Coronation, in April following, he had the distinguished honour of carrying the Queen's crown. He was afterwards made Colonel of the 11th Regiment of foot, then first raised. He next exerted himself against the Duke of Monmouth; and endeavoured, though ineffectually, to secure Bristol against the adherents of the Prince of Orange. Upon that Prince's elevation to the British throne, his Grace refused to take the oaths, and abjuring public life, lived in retirement until his death, which took place in 1699, in the seventieth year of his age.
Charles, the second but eldest surviving son of the first Duke, is mentioned in the family history as a nobleman of great parts and learning. He died in the lifetime of his father, in consequence of an accident, in the thirtyeighth year of his age. His horses, we are told, taking fright, and running down a steep hill, the danger became imminent; when, to avoid the casualty which threatened him, he unhappily leaped out, broke his thigh-bone, and only survived the accident three days.
* August 18, 1660.
Henry, his eldest son, succeeded his grandfather as second Duke of Beaufort. On Queen Anne's visiting the University of Oxford in 1702, and going thence in her progress to Bath, the Duke met her Majesty near Cirencester, on the twenty-ninth of August; and, attended by great numbers of the gentlemen, clergy, and freeholders of the county, conducted her with great pomp to his seat at Badminton, where she was received with regal splendour. This act of loyal hospitality—so becoming in a descendant of Henry the first Marquess of Worcester—was most graciously acknowledged by the Queen and her royal consort Prince George of Denmark.
Three years after this event, the Duke took his seat in the House of Lords; but did not appear at court until after the change of ministers in 1710, when he frankly told her Majesty that he could “then, and only then, call her Queen of England.”
After being installed in various high offices, and while promising a long and distinguished career in the service of his country, he was prematurely cut off in the thirty-first year of his age, and buried at Badminton, where a monument records his titles, character, and public services.
Badminton, which we have just named, is the principal seat of the Beau-, fort family, and comprises one of the finest parks in England. Badminton Church, which contains the monuments above-named, was rebuilt at the expense of the late Duke of Beaufort in 1785, after a plan by Evans. It stands within the Ducal Park; and, besides various other specimens of art, represents the arms of Somerset—"foy pour devoir”—faith for duty-worked in mosaic in the pavement of the chancel. On the destruction of
Raglan Castle, as already described in these pages, was laid the foundation of Badminton Park, where the household gods of the family were formally enshrined, and insured the possession of a more peaceful and propitious home.
“Here, in forgetfulness of many woes,
The loyal Founder sought and found repose;
Save when we make the public weal our own."